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New Project Pens Mixed Roots In West Yorkshire

Writer Emily Midorikawa from York one of the commissioned writers for Tangled Roots photographed bt Anthony Farrimond for the Tangled Roots ExhibitionArts council provides backing for writer's experiences.

A group of writers have launched a pioneering project to document the experiences of racially mixed families in West Yorkshire.

Backed by funding from the Arts Council and launched at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, the Tangled Roots initiative aims to collate the stories of people from multi-racial backgrounds – and pay contributors for their input.

Project coordinator Author Katy Massey, from Chapel Allerton, said the initiative was prompted by a conversation she had with friends.

'We are all mixed-race or bringing up children as part of a multi-racial family,' she said. 'We talked about lots of things, including the stupid things people say to us when we’re out and about. I was asked recently, 'Are you babysitting for the day?’ when I was out shopping with my light-skinned, blue-eyed daughter.'

'one mystery eluded us.' she added. 'Why don’t we see families like ours in the media or read about our experiences in books?'

Using £26,000 in Arts Council funding, six writers have been commissioned to write about their own experiences. Members of the public are also being invited to get involved, with payment being made to those whose stories are chosen.

The aim of the project is to create an anthology of work that includes the writing of ordinary families alongside that of the professionals and a play and public readings are also planned.

Dr Massey added: 'This project will uncover the stories of those families whose ethnic heritage cuts across racial divisions, to reveal compelling narratives which are missed by the common tendency to divide the population into separate racial groups.'

The project kicked off with The Tangled roots Exhibition: Portraits of Writers from Yorkshire taken by Anthony Farrimond at Seven Arts, Harrogate Road, Leeds from 18 Sept 2013 to 13 Oct 2013

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